Green Companies

Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) in India

The Indian regulator SEBI has mandated quantitative and standardized disclosures on ESG parameters to enable comparability across companies, sectors and time for top 1000 listed Indian firms. This will be called the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). The disclosures will include

  • Material ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks and opportunities,
  • Approach to mitigate or adapt to the risks along with financial implications
  • Sustainability related goals and targets and performance
  • These can be cross-referenced to disclosures based on GRI, SASB, TCFD or Integrated Reporting

Green Companies

United States SEC is modernizing ESG and Climate disclosure standards

The following steps are being considered to enhance the reliability around existing climate and ESG disclosures

  • Sustainability standards board
  • ESG-specific policies and procedures requirements
  • Investor bulletin to help investors understand ESG
  • Enhanced transparency around proxy voting
  • Auditor attestation of current voluntary sustainability reporting
  • Better standards or guidance for how auditors currently address companies’ climate and ESG-related financial statement disclosures
  • Enhanced transparency by credit rating agencies regarding how they consider ESG factors

Green Companies

New Zealand has become the first country to introduce a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business.

This will cover the following:

  • All banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion ($703 million)
  • Insurers with more than NZ$1 billion in total assets under management
  • All equity and debt issuers listed on the NZ stock exchange
  • 200 of the country’s biggest companies and several foreign firms that meet the NZ$1 billion threshold will come under the legislation

This legislation is in line with the government’s policy to create a NetZero country. NZ public sector will be carbon-neutral by 2025 and will also buy only zero-emissions public transport buses.

Green Companies

The Association of Banks of Russia has approved recommendations for the implementation of ESG principles by local lenders.

At the moment, 7% of Russian banks already apply ESG principles in their business models, while 67% are preparing for the transition to ESG banking.

Russian Green Finance Guidelines have been issued. These focus on promoting private investment into projects aligned to national and international climate targets.

The Moscow Stock Exchange has created a Sustainability Sector for financing projects in the fields of environmental and social sustainability. The new sector will consist of three independent segments: green bonds, social bonds and national projects.

Green Companies

Germany the 4.9 trillion dollar economy will be NetZero by 2045

5 years earlier than otherwise planned. This is a transition that will eliminate 65% emissions by 2030, 85-90% by 2040 and reach net zero emissions by 2045. This has 5 main implications

  • Manufacturing – Germany is regarded as a global engineering powerhouse with industrial giants in automotive, mechanical engineering, chemicals, electric and electronic equipment. Decarbonizing these sectors will have ripple effects across the world too in terms of NetZero manufacturing, phasing out coal and investing heavily in renewables.
  • Infrastructure – Since there will be a massive shift towards electric vehicles and low emission fuels, charging infrastructure will be intensified. Further renewable energy investments will mean a change in the electricity grid of the country as well as massive investments in technology infrastructure.
  • Climate Finance – to fund the transition across manufacturing and construction, funding will be needed in massive quantities.
  • Skills Transition – All the above will mean new skills and new jobs for a country in transition.
  • Carbon Strategies – German companies will now need to define their own sustainability targets, assess sustainability risks that may impact their own activities and evaluate principal adverse impacts stemming from their own activities.

Green Companies

In a world full of stuff, labels matter. They attract, inform and build the product narrative

Moreover they are major determinants of consumer choice. They can also serve as an invaluable tool in building sustainability and product impact stories. Garnier will be the first brand in L’Oreal’s portfolio, to implement Product Environmental & Social Impact Labelling. This aims to inform consumers on the environmental and social impact of their products, empowering them to make more sustainable choices.

This is on trial in France and on haircare products. This labelling gives each product a sustainability score, from A to E, with products labelled ‘A’ considered best in class. The score takes into account 14 environmental factors from sourcing, manufacture, transportation, usage and recyclability. Data is verified by Bureau Veritas Certification, an independent auditor. The Environmental & Social Impact Labelling of Garnier Haircare products will be accessible to consumers on the French brand’s haircare webpage before rolling out internationally.

The environmental assessment calculates the impact of a product over its entire life cycle. It takes into consideration the value chain of a cosmetic product, together with environmental methodological references, and uses the life cycle diagram below. The impact calculations when applied to the product portfolio show that the Carbon Footprint and the Water Footprint represent the two major contributors to the Overall Environmental Impact of L”Oreal products. This is the reason why the company has decided to communicate three indicators:

  • Overall Environmental Impact (14 impact factors)
  • Carbon footprint
  • Water footprint

While biodiversity is not reported as a footprint category, 6 out of the 14 impact factors used
are closely related to effects on biodiversity.

https://www.loreal.com/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/corp/master/lcorp/documents-media/publications/loreal-pil-methodologie-en01.pdf

Green Companies

Design and Innovation must combine with customer experience to solve sustainability

At a time when we face tumultuous changes on many fronts, we urgently need design to help us manage them. Design is not a panacea, but if it is applied intelligently, it is a powerful tool with which we can address these issues. The biggest shift of all is in the design of products.

Let’s take wet wipes as an example and attempt to find a solution. Wet wipes are currently produced using polyester or by a blending polyester with viscose or cotton fibres. Wet wipes applications include baby wipes, personal hygiene, cleaning, industrial wipes and medical applications. Wipes are today part of almost every household. However, in its current form, a used wet wipe after disposal persists in the environment for hundreds of years, as some of its constituents are non-biodegradable polyester. So, what should be done to solve this? There are no easy answers. Instead, questions abound! If you ban wet wipes, what will consumers replace it with? Should one then find an alternative to the polyester used in these wipes? Can they instead be made of biodegradable materials? But then, which biodegradable materials? What will be the quality and efficacy of the final product if the core material is replaced? Also, even if a product is biodegradable, should the manufacturing process also be relooked at to reduce harmful chemicals and processing?

Plastic based products are just one example of the challenges that can arise when trying to repurpose hard-to-handle materials in the circular economy. A new wave of advanced manufacturing technologies are now hitting the market, most notably the explosion in 3D printing polymers and other additive manufacturing materials. Even toxic materials are permissible in the circular economy, so long as the material is kept in the production cycle throughout its useful life.

While product design and innovation can help create better products, we need also product journeys with the customer in mind. A well designed product or a new material is only useful when the customer takes to it. Hence sustainable products and services are just the beginning. The true challenge lies in enabling sustainable consumption and disposal. Electric vehicles and solar panels are old technologies. They are yet to see mass adoption by individual consumers. Customer experiences that help address adoption challenges need to be created.

Green Companies

A Green Company won’t emerge by accident, it needs to be designed

Some of the changes we see today in technology and work have been enabled by the disruption caused by the pandemic, others are simply an acceleration of the existing pre pandemic trends.

Virtually every industry has been experiencing rapid, massive, and sometimes devastating change over the last few years. Think of how much things have changed in just the last five years. Think of all the new services that you use, the new technologies in place, and all the innovation that’s right around the corner. Moreover, it’s amazing that we are able to view all these rapid changes before our eyes.

At the same time, technology has a way of making radical change feel matter-of-factly incremental. The arrival of the digital world has enhanced our capabilities in ways that are profound. A large part of the world’s population is now connected on the mobile phone. We easily have conversations across the globe and create, consume and share photos, music, videos and ideas and innovations. We are also steadily moving away from a one way cycle of buying and hoarding to different types of user models. For instance, with Uber we rent a car for a short while, we listen to apple Itunes rather than hoarding a stash of CDs or records and in many homes we increasingly order food rather than cook. However, these dramatic changes have been adopted wholeheartedly and almost naturally. The pandemic has also accelerated some of these changes.

With operations teams working overtime on hybrid working, IT is struggling to cope with emerging technology needs and marketing departments are wondering how to advertise since viewership is deeply fragmented. Sustainability and social responsibility departments on the other hand need to quickly turn and re-evaluate new strategies given the scale and magnitude of climate change targets and impacts.

The big question we need to be asking is, “What will the new world look like and can we together create a better tomorrow?” We create what we think. And this is perhaps as good a time as any to learn from the past and create a better tomorrow by designing it in a better way. Corporate structures have been driven by the need to hire specialists for each department, but now we need to think differently. The only way that we can seek to address all the accelerating digital and sustainability trends is to start thinking in systems. The same needs to be applied to how companies function too.

For instance, people talk of creating ethical AI to solve problems through automation. How you think and act gets reflected in what you create. Ethical AI is more about ethics than technology.

The inherent model behind corporations is one of liability limitation and externalization of cost. The winners of tomorrow will be companies that create value while being socially responsible.

Green Companies

To communicate ESG, Customer Experience is the answer

If you’re ready to put #ESG at the forefront of your marketing and communications efforts, you’ll want to start by creating a strategy for sharing your story.

JOURNEYS TO BUILD TRUST

Environmental responsibility isn’t just targets. ESG isn’t just a sustainability report. Customers need to know how your corporate practices impact the brand and therefore their lives. Communicating via retargeting popups, spamming and cold calling won’t work anymore. A responsible brand is more than just advertising and PR. #CustomerExperience have and will always matter. Change products and service journeys to build the environmental, social and governance narrative.

GIVING HOPE

Much of the climate narrative is around gloom and doom. For everyone emerging out of the pandemic a narrative around climate crisis is unlikely to succeed. Marketers often forget that consumers are people first. One of the underlying desires today is to feel joy. Help people make their lives better and of those around them through your ESG journeys.

AUTHENTICITY

ESG is as much about investors and employees as it is about customers. The entire ecosystem needs to believe in the ESG journey that you have started. From social media to the mission statement, to your program and products, to your employees, to investor and public relations efforts, consider how your messaging will integrate throughout our company’s brand. You just can’t fake it anymore. Stay authentic.

Green Companies

Decarbonizing shipping

The best materials, the most efficient manufacturing practices and oodles of carbon capture aren’t enough to undo the damage caused by shipping things around! Which is why the shipping industry needs to decarbonize.

Shipping currently contributes approximately 2-3% of global carbon emissions. Of the 14 trillion dollars spent each year on transportation, over 90% goes on journeys by sea. Carbon emissions could soon become a major criteria for trade deals and negotiations – impacting world trade.

The world’s largest container shipping line A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has called for a $150-a-ton carbon tax on shipping fuel that would drive up the costs for an industry that delivers 80% of world trade. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S says such a levy would help bridge the price gap between fossil fuels that vessels consume today and greener alternatives that are currently much more expensive. Fuel costs would effectively almost double if the measure were imposed today because of how carbon dioxide emissions are counted. Maersk’s call is in part a response to changing business behaviors. Almost half of the company’s top 200 customers have set targets to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.

From a consumer perspective, being able to access reliable data about the carbon emissions on shipping could drive real change: Especially in things like food, where the carbon footprint of growing certain types of foods is large and in addition, shipping it across the world further adds to emissions. Locally grown, sustainably marketed products and brands will emerge when the costs of shipping ramp up. The challenge though, will be around managing customers, who are now used to buying food from all across the world. Further, companies are talking about radical transparency. The challenge of transparency is the supply of too much information.
If each one of us knew the carbon impact of everything we bought, from our clothes, to our car, to the food we eat, we could use that to inform our choices. Stock values, press, brand reputation, and bottom-line revenues will all be susceptible to this change.